Cardboard Boat Race To Take Place August 11 At Orillia Waterfront Festival


Calling all boat building enthusiasts, creative types, and anyone up for a bit of friendly competition on the water! The Cardboard Boat Race will be returning this summer as part of the Orillia & District Chamber of Commerce(ODCC)’s Waterfront Festival.

The race has long been one of the most popular components of the Waterfront Festival. It is a chance for Orillians of all ages to put their design and nautical skills to the test building boats out of cardboard and racing them in Lake Couchiching. The race is open to visitors as well as residents, and there is no fee to participate, although registration is required. Winners receive bragging rights and a souvenir plaque, and all are invited to come cheer on the racers and enjoy the spectacle!

A cardboard boat does not require expensive materials or advanced skills to build. With some planning, determination, and effort, almost anyone can do it, and it can be a great family or team-building activity. Creative design themes are encouraged, and participants can dress the part for a chance at the title of “Best Costumed Crew.”

Local resident Evan Devine has built many of the Cardboard Boat Race’s most memorable entries over the years. He created a You Tube video to help beginner boat builders get started. The video is available to view at, and provides a detailed tutorial on the basics of building a cardboard boat along with tips and design ideas for a variety of boat styles. Evan recommends starting to collect cardboard early and reminds crews to always be sure to leave space for lifejackets when designing costumes.

A full list of rules and online registration is available at . Participants are required to arrive ahead of the race time on the day of the event to sign waivers and set up. Arrival time is specified on the registration page, and all participants who register online will receive email updates as the event approaches.

The Waterfront Festival takes place August 9 through 11 at the Port of Orillia and Centennial Park. In addition to the Carboard Boat Race, it features in-water boat displays, live entertainment, a beer garden, a vendor market, and the Dock Diving dog Contest. More information on the Waterfront Festival  is available at


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